By Jaimey Strauch
Some say it’s the first snowfall that puts one in the Christmas spirit. Seeing as that was in October this year, the weather can no longer be relied on. However, all who attended the opening night of ESU’s production of A Christmas Carol were put in the mood for the holiday season. By seven thirty on the night of December 1st, the Smith-McFarland Theatre was packed with eager students and families, ready to see this rendition of Dickens’s classic.
As usual, the stage was completely transformed and quite impressive. When the show began, I was surprised that even the excited children quieted down. Though I’ve seen the play countless times, it never gets old, and this version in general was a sight to see.
Michael Lloret gave a convincing portrayal of the grumpy turned enlightened Ebenezer Scrooge. He nailed the old man walk and voice, and his singing also raised goosebumps as well as made for a stunning performance. Joey Dougherty gave a chilling view of Jacob Marley, and Tyler Whitman made the ghost of Christmas past into a Mad Hatter of the play. While the carol singers left us in a state of aw, the audience also erupted into laughs at Shannon Christmann’s line “I am the ghost of Christmas present…look upon me!” While the younger onlookers may not have understood her saucy tone, the students certainly appreciated it. Lastly, it was young Gregory Back’s performance as Tiny Tim that touched everyone watching as he smiled and said “God bless us, every one.”
While the new use of headset microphones caused sound issues at times, the show was otherwise a hit. It’s a show to see more than once. At the close, snow fell to the stage, and everyone applauded at the perfectly delivered rendition of A Christmas Carol.